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Suzanne Ehlers and Michael Brune's Posts

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Why women’s needs must be part of the conversation at Rio

Photo by U.K. Department for International Development.

The outcome document for this week’s Rio+20 summit is 49 pages long. Some 23,917 words.

Women were mentioned in less than 0.01 percent of the text. And only two of the 283 sections addressed women’s needs for family planning.

At first, this might not seem like a big deal. It’s easy to think of Rio as a purely environmental conference, dealing with issues related to sustainable development and a green economy. It’s easy to say that Rio is not about "women's issues."

Well, we have some news for you: You can’t have sustainable development without women.

Read more: Population

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The other good thing about fighting climate change

Photo: Green Jobs NowThanks to the folks at the Climate Desk for bringing this conversation together, and to Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus for their introduction. So much has been written about the inability of policymakers to produce breakthroughs in Copenhagen and Congress that one might think that the only way to address climate change is to pass massively complex bills and treaties. Of course, there are many pathways to cut carbon, and clean-energy advocates in the U.S. have made real progress even as recent legislative efforts have stalled. Knowing there won't be a climate bill anytime soon doesn't mean …